Getting a straight answer on this seems to be a problem … I have been searching and trying to determine for a corporate client the best way to open a page for his business. The terms are not absolutely clear in some areas – but then again that can be the norm for Facebook and its rules/terms – very open to interpretation.

When you add to this uncertainty by seeing other businesses doing what you want (I have had about 10 businesses trying to ‘friend me’ in the past week – which by the way is a clear violation of their terms) it becomes hard to decide how to set something like this up – and properly.

We finally made the decision to open the page under my client’s name.  His business is a corporation and not owned by any one person and he wanted to keep his name separate from the page at all costs.  The business he has also has two sides; one more cost efficient than the other which caters to a higher end type of client.  His goal was to keep people from his different market groups from asking/learning about the other side of his business. Understandable but hard to make happen and stay in line with Facebook’s terms of service.

In checking out the present setup of this client – what they did before hiring me –  I was poking around to see what they had in place. When I went to the tab – Create your Profile – as they had opened a page only and not setup the profile at all –  I got my answer.  Reading this warning message, it seems very definitive on where Facebook stands when it comes to creating a user profile in your business name >>> Don’t do it.

Their message:

Facebook profiles are meant to represent a single individual. Organizations of any type are not permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization. We have created Facebook Pages to allow organizations to have a presence on Facebook. These Pages are distinct presences, separate from user profiles, and optimized for an organization’s needs to communicate, distribute information/content, engage their fans, and capture new audiences virally through their fan’s recommendations to their friends. Facebook Pages are designed to be a media rich, valuable presence for any artist, business or brand.

If you create a profile for your business, your account may be disabled for violating our Terms of Use. If you have questions about how to best leverage your Facebook Page, please check out our Insider’s Guide or FAQ.

Now, even after reading this I would still love to know “How does Coke or Pepsi or Home Depot have their page setup?”  Who is the user profile behind those business pages on Facebook?  If I knew that, I might stop questioning things.  But from here on in – I will heed this warning message and always ensure that clients understand this rule.

Having dealt with 2 clients who ‘lost” their Facebook pages – one forever and one for only a month – I plan to stick to their terms.

Learn more tricks like this about setting up your own social media channels so you can network online knowing you have the best possible profiles to help market you and your business online by attending Kathy’s newest course at VAnetworking starting June 22nd, 2011.  Still a couple of seats left!

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